The Manuscript Department: Main Collection

The Main Collection is divided into four series and the Manuscript Department holds, in addition, a number of special collections, including some acquired by donations.

Series I

All manuscripts acquired before 1870. The main components of this section are:

  • The manuscripts of the Dukes of Burgundy
  • The codices from monasteries that were dissolved in the eighteenth century
  • The Bollandist collection
  • The manuscripts from the collection of Charles Van Hulthem

Series II

Acquisitions obtained between 1870 and 1952. This includes the manuscripts that were acquired in England between 1888 and 1900 when large parts of the Phillipps collection were sold.

Series III

Modern manuscripts (16th - 18th centuries) acquired by the Royal Library since 1952, comprising mainly literary, historical and artistic documents. Some contemporary literary French-language archives from Belgium were entrusted to the non-profit Archives et Musée de la Littérature.

Series IV

Medieval and Eastern manuscripts acquired after 1952 as well as precious documents.